It was a cold, dark night that she heard the scream that chilled her blood to icicles within her veins. It resounded and echoed past the lonely walls of the decrepit manor she resided in as her father had commanded of her, his only daughter.
No, this was the type of scream that is not confined behind stone and mortar, it trailed and reverberated over the hills and moors beyond the Drake Manor, where few came, and even fewer seemed to ever come out.
The wild wind whipped up the wailing voice and carried it away, farther than any could have imagined. The wind carried it so far and howled so forcefully that the scream was lost amongst the tempest’s call.
She hugged the thin shawl closer to her wispy frame. If any of the servants rose from bed, they could easily mistake the Count’s daughter for a spirit or a ghost, her ghastly stricken face unable to mask the disquiet she felt in her heart since that shattering scream had shaken her from her uneasy slumber.
Even now, she trembled with the beating of her heart, with the promise of shattering her fragile ribcage in the persistent and vehement beating. Standing in the drafty corridor, she feared her booming organ would betray her to any unsoundly sleeping ears. Her lily white hand found purchase on her chest, as if to guard against the real threat of her heart beating out of her chest.
A scratching, snuffling sound startled her as the cold nose of one of the manor hounds shook her from her frozen form amid the cold, unfeeling stone around her, and the unfriendly night beyond the frosting window panes.
She let her tiny fingers play in the soft, inviting fur of the only hound that she was not afraid would turn on her and devoir her as they did the scraps of meat the dog masters threw to them. For this reason, this mutt alone was allowed inside the main wing of the house instead of in the pens with the other hounds. The large and wolfish looking Shepard was deceptively sweet, for all of his vicious stature and physique.
The opening of a door further spurned her into action and she deftly slipped back inside her fire lit chamber, with the black hound in tow, she carefully shut the door, listening for any signs of detection before retiring to her now chilly bed in futile hopes of returning to slumber. She snuggled close to the mongrel on the bed beside her, taking comfort from his warm and protective presence.
The morning could not come soon enough, so she thought…
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